AL-AIN believe the capture of former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is a “landmark event” in attracting other players to the Middle East.
Gyan completed his permanent switch to Al-Ain last week after Sunderland finally cut their losses on the Ghanaian striker.
The Black Cats banked a fee thought to be in the region of £6million for Gyan, in addition to the £6m Al-Ain paid to take the 26-year-old to the United Arab Emirates on loan last September.
A host of clubs were eyeing a move for Gyan this summer, including Turkish giants Galatasaray and several sides in Qatar.
But Gyan opted to pen a four-year deal at Al-Ain, thought to be worth £140,000 a week, with chief executive Carlo Nohra claiming the move sends out a message about the football on offer in the Middle East.
Nohra said: “It’s definitely a landmark event.
“Asamoah will be instrumental in attracting other players to the UAE because he has proven that if you are of his calibre you can come to the Emirates, join a very big club and as a football player be satisfied besides being satisfied as a human being.
“It proves that if you are in your prime you can still come here, make a very good living, enjoy yourself in a beautiful country but most importantly for a footballer, play football to a very high standard.
“And it speaks a lot for the club and the values we have. Hopefully he’ll be a shining example for other players to consider coming here.”